October 1, 2021
The Arc of Sedgwick County to...AbilityPoint
Through a long process of interviews and branding surveys it was recommended that The Arc officially move away from the ARC letters to eliminate confusion and concern. When our organization was founded in 1953, the “R word” was simply a diagnosis for an intellectual disability. For years locally as well as nationally, we were known as an association serving those with this diagnosis, but the R word was part of our name. Over the years the name was simplified by many to just the letters ARC but most everyone knew what that meant. It was our self-advocates from across the country that pushed to move away from that name and acronym. The National organization landed on just being The Arc, not an acronym just a place of hope and support. The problem remained that the ARC was still in our name.
We also found limitations from the second half of our name ‘of Sedgwick County’. Sedgwick county has created confusion for many. Some believe we are part of Sedgwick County government. Some believe that we only serve Sedgwick County residents. The reality is we have been serving hundreds annually from throughout South-Central Kansas through our mini tours, Camp Pride the YESS program and Circle of Friends. We have also expanded Targeted case management services into Butler County and have interest from other surrounding Counties. When people see our name, they question whether we are a choice for them based on where they live. We knew we needed to remove Sedgwick County from our name.
The surveys and interviews showed that those with no connection to our organization had no idea what The Arc of Sedgwick County might do based solely on our name. It also highlighted what our families saw when looking at our organization for them. It was a Point where support started, and hope began. It is where our self-advocates go to feel connected. It is where smiles are created. It is where a brighter future came into view and where Abilities are celebrated. We are AbilityPoint.
From the beginning of this journey, we involved our self-advocates and stakeholders we brought the recommendation to our membership looking for feedback and support at our March meeting in person and virtually. We shared all these points and had some great feedback and received positive support for the new name. Change can be challenging and scary at times but can also provide some great opportunities. We will continue to be a chapter of The Arc of the United States and the national advocacy movement, but for our community and those we serve we are now AbilityPoint!